Neuburg Castle was first built during the late 13th century or early 14th, most likely for the Baron Tumb von Neuburg from Vorarlberg. It is unclear whether there was an earlier castle or why the Tumb von Neuburg family acquired land in Graubünden. It was first mentioned in 1345 as Nüwburg. In 1360 they had to give the castle to Heinz and Martin Buwix as collateral for a loan, but by 1385 they were back in possession of the castle. In 1396 Frik Tumb quarreled with Ulrich Brun von Rhäzüns, which led to a feud between the two families and Neuburg Castle being besieged. In 1400 Johann von Neuburg became a vassal to the Bishop of Chur to protect his claim to the castle.
About 1450 it came under the control of Rudolf von Rappenstein or von Mötteli. In 1496 it was sold to the Bishop of Chur, who appointed a bailiff to administer the estates. In the following years, the castle was expanded, but during the 16th century it was abandoned and fell into ruin. Then, in 1577 the municipality bought the castle and associated barony. In the 16th Century, the site was abandoned and began to collapse.
The castle site includes the still visible rectangular keep, which is one of the largest in Raetia. The keep was four stories tall and was about 12 by 29 meters in size. The original high entrance was located on the west, about 2 m above ground level. The tower was divided into three parts by large interior walls. North and west of the keep, the foundations and portions of the curtain wall and gatehouse are still visible. In the northern courtyard, there is a large round cistern. The castle was repeatedly expanded. The original structure included arcades, detached kitchens and sinks.
The walls were about 1.5 m thick at the base, though they thinned out as they rose. On the mountain side of the castle site, a 2 m high gate led to the middle section of the castle.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.